Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

April 3, 2013

ROOT: Now it is getting serious

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I try to let it go, but I just can’t. When I drive up Transit, I see one of the biggest eyesores I have ever seen. I don’t mean that in any metaphorical way; I mean it literally. I was at Love Canal before they tore the houses down and I have been through the worst parts of some of the biggest cities in the country; what we have here is one of the biggest eyesores I have ever seen.

When I see it, it makes me sad and angry. It makes me sad because it is such a waste. It makes me angry because I know someone is purposely making it worse just to serve their own selfish needs. I know it is getting worse because I have lived here my entire life and I have never seen it like this.

As my wife and I were driving down Transit towards the city to go home, we passed by the M&T Bank branch near the site of the old mall. Just as we passed the bank, we saw a tidal wave of white swirl up from the ground behind the barrier fence that recently had the green material reattached to it. The wave swirled like a tornado and rose up into the air and then dissipated. Some of it landed on the Bon Ton, but the rest just settled back down to the ground.

Whoever is feeding the seagulls at the old Lockport Mall site should be ashamed of themselves. I wrote a cute little story about this a couple of weeks ago, but this isn’t cute anymore. It is obvious that the problem has been artificially enhanced by someone enticing the birds to nest there.

What are the results of such a selfish act? Businesses all along that fence now have to listen to customers complain about birds swooping around and bird droppings on vehicles. There are two restaurants in the immediate area (three if you count the hot dog stand across the street) which I am sure are inadvertently making the situation worse.

The administrators of the town of Lockport can take some of the blame for all of this. When the charade involving the seagulls started, the town did not have the foresight to see where it could go. Common sense tells most people that when you give activists an inch, they will always try to turn it into a mile. If one small group of seagulls keeps the new super center from going up, then an unruly mob of the winged rats will keep capitalism away forever.

Did the people that perpetrated this ever once think of the consequences of their actions? Obviously not. There are innocent businesses that now have to deal with this problem that had never existed like this before. The real lives of real people are being affected because some people cannot live with the notion of another super center in the area.

Let’s make this worse by reminding everyone that the mall was torn down to make way for this disaster. I pretty much lived at the mall for most of my childhood and there was never a problem with the seagulls like we have now. Even after the mall was torn down, there were not nearly as many seagulls as there are now. One has to assume that someone is making the problem worse to drive their own little point home.

Congratulations whoever you are, you just turned the town of Lockport into everything it fought never to be. The town is a laughing stock, which it never wanted to be. The town now looks like an unkempt mess, which it never wanted to be. If this keeps up, that part of the town won’t be safe for anyone to use. Good work. You did a fine job.

Now the town of Lockport is forced to do something to fix the problem. The longer the problem is ignored, the more that it will spread. Before long, we will have to call in the National Guard to solve this stupid problem that we refused to deal with.

The first step is to stop the person or persons that are enticing the birds. After that, I have no idea. I am not a politician, but I was the one that was warning everyone that tearing down the mall was a really bad idea. But not even I, a person who has almost no faith in human nature, could foresee such a selfish and dangerous act.

The ball is in your court, town of Lockport. The super center owners will pull out of the deal. They will have no choice after a while. Then what? You tore down our mall and left us with a huge mess. Fix it. This time, fix it right.

George N Root III is a proud Lockport resident who is sick of selfish games at the expense of the city and town he loves. His column appears every Wednesday whether everyone likes it or not. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net. Go ahead, make my day.

George N Root III is a proud Lockport resident who is sick of selfish games at the expense of the city and town he loves. His column appears every Wednesday whether everyone likes it or not. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net. Go ahead, make my day.